Born to immigrants from Czechoslovakia, Frank was the 3rd child born out of seven. His family was migrant farm workers, farming sugar beets. Their family moved around a lot, so Frank probably did not get educated past 8th grade. They lived in homes provided by the farmers for whom they worked. All the kids (he and his siblings) worked in the fields as well.
Once the family had a permanent residence in Duffield, Frank got a job in the automotive industry working in Detroit until WW2 started. In 1943, at the age of 32, he was drafted and sent to India. In the army he was known as “Pops” or “Grandpa” because he was one of the oldest drafted. While in India he worked as a construction engineer, building barracks and other structures for the army. In 1946 he was discharged from the army and married Anna (Pinkava) Sedlarik shortly after his return. They made a home on the East side of Detroit, and there Frank worked as a tool and die maker for a company that was an automotive parts manufacturer. Frank retired in the mid 1970s. They were longtime, devote members of St Hyacinth’s parish.
His family (nephew, nieces and their children) feel the most important thing to remember about Frank Sedlarik is that he was a generous soul. He is remembered to have been especially giving and loving to his wife. Frank was a great lover of family.
Frank was a great sportsman. While in India he hunted Tigers, water buffalo and other exotic animals. He even hunted while riding on the back of an elephant. In Canada he hunted Moose. He hunted for many years with his nephew Tom Podolan. Tom remembers him as an extremely good shot, able to hit his target 98% of the time. He shot pheasant, geese and other foul. While Frank loved to hunt, he always would allow his hunting partners to shoot first, but according to Tom, after everyone missed, he would get them. When Frank took aim, he would shoot and then the bird would fall.
Being a big man, it was difficult to get him into a canoe, but if you were with him you needed to be careful it didn’t sink! But make no mistake; Frank was an agile hunter, boater and fisherman. He frequently fished for Walleye on the St Clair River.
Frank’s nephews, Tom and John, and his niece, Rosanne, remember going to Houghton Lake with Frank and his wife, Anna, for a vacation. Frank and Anna were generous loving people and treated the kids to the entire week.
When Frank was young and healthy he went to church regularly.
He Always helped his wife, Anna, when cooking. He was also an excellent cook himself. They made homemade sausage. He would peel heads of garlic and put into a glass jar for Anna to keep. Made lots of stuffed peppers. He was famous for his hot sauce, it was so hot only Tom Podolan could eat it.
His Great nephew, John Podolan, remembers his Uncle Frank bragged that he always had $100 in his pocket during prohibition from running “moonshine” across the river from Canada. Frank was once arrested for this. As a result, he was never able to own a hand gun. Frank wanted one, so he had his wife register it in her name. Frank used to say that she dropped the gun on the desk of the policeman using 2 fingers. The policeman just looked up at her and said “lady, what are you going to do with that gun?”
His great nephews and nieces have been heard to remark that it would have been fun to have known him as a friend when he was a young man. As he aged, he was always spending time with people 25 years his junior, but never acted superior to them.
He loved all children. We all remember Uncle Frank always teasing and fooling around with us. He always asked us if we were going to “kindergarbage” we would all laugh and try to correct him. Frank was always joking with children. He loved children. Even in his last days, when he was pretty uncomfortable in the hospital, he would brighten up when he saw his great great nephew, Patrick White.
Frank liked to dance and really enjoyed polkas.
Frank stayed in close contact with his relatives from the Czech Republic. He loved to travel, especially back to CZ to visit family. He kept the Czech traditions alive in America. Went to Czech festivals wearing traditional clothes, or a Czech tie. He was Proud of his Czech heritage. Member of SOKOL, a Czech and Slovak organization. 50 year member. Never would he turn down a shot of Czech slivovitz.